Exploring our gut microbial communities with new tools is allowing us to revisit old questions; to develop new concepts about our evolution, postnatal development, systems physiology, individuality, and definitions of health; and to further delineate the impact of our changing life-styles. It is also allowing us to envision exciting new ways for addressing global health problems. This area is inherently interdisciplinary, offering a wealth of opportunities to create new fields, partnerships, and educational initiatives. It is captivating to the public and carries substantial expectations. As such, participating scientists need to sponsor proactive, solution-focused discussions of its societal implications.